My name is Jo Berry. My father was killed in a terrorist attack during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and now I work with the ex-terrorist, Pat Magee, who planted the bomb. Ask Me Anything.
Hi, this is Jo Berry. My father, Sir Anthony Berry, was killed in the bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton in 1984. Two days after the bombing, I decided that I would create something positive from the trauma and try and understand the people who killed him. I reached out to Pat 14 years ago after he was released early from prison, and we have developed a friendship and work together to end violent conflict.
I founded the charity Building Bridges for Peace in 2009, which enables divided communities and the general public to better understand the causes of war, terrorism, and violence. We promote dialogue and mediation as a means to peace.
Pat and I plan on attending an upcoming peace conference in Sarajevo, marking the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of WWI. If you can, please contribute to the crowd fund for our workshop so that we can make a difference there.
I have written a Huffington Post article about learning to forgive after losing my father and was honored to give a talk at TEDx about how empathy allowed me to develop a constructive friendship with Pat Magee.
We talk about our friendship in the film Beyond Right & Wrong, which has helped our story reach a global audience. It is available online for free at FilmRaise.com. Every time someone watches the film, $.50 goes to charity on your behalf.
There’s a part in the film where Pat and I are being questioned by a very critical reporter who accuses me of being an apologist for Pat’s crime. He was one of the most difficult people I’ve faced, but I’m sure many people share his views.
There were a few technical difficulties on my first AMA attempt. Thank you to anyone who commented on that thread, I really appreciate it. Please Ask Me Anything.
Edit Thank you for all of your questions today. I have to go now, but will try and answer a few more questions tomorrow.